Badgers "Thankful" for DC Jim Leonhard - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Badgers "Thankful" for DC Jim Leonhard

Posted: Updated:
MADISON (WKOW) -

The No.5 Wisconsin Badgers have a lot to be thankful for this year.

Just to name a few...

- Thankful to be 11-0.

- Thankful to be heading to the Big Ten Championship once again. 

- Thankful for defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard. 

Despite having three different DCs in three years, Leonhard has made sure his unit hasn't missed a beat. 

"I just think he has that mentality of - even though he's the one calling the plays - he's doing it for us," said senior linebacker Garrett Dooley.  "He knows that he doesn't have to get too fancy with stuff because he knows that we can go out there and execute.  That's just something where he has that trust factor in us and we have the trust in him."

A lot of that trust has to do with Leonhard's background.  The former Badger played for ten years in the NFL.  He joined Paul Chryst's almost two years ago as the defensive backs coach.  He was promoted to defensive coordinator in the offeseason.

"The type of knowledge that he brings from coaches is just different because he's been through it all," said junior linebacker T.J. Edwards.  "He's been in our shoes and he knows how we're feeling.  He knows how we would see things and stuff like that.  To have him on the sideline with us is huge."

It's all paid off.  So far this season Wisconsin leads the nation in rush defense.  They're second only to Alabama in total defense, and points allowed per game.  In addition, the Badgers have only allowed five touchdowns in their last six games.  The defense has only allowed 12 touchdowns over 11 games this year.

"When adversity happens, [Leonhard has] that sense of calmness," said Edwards.  "[Leonhard says] ,'We'll get our corrections, we got to keep moving.  [We got to] put it behind us. Otherwise, worse things are going to happen.'"

Leonhard remembers battling adversity against the Gophers. He was a part of the last Wisconsin team to give up Paul Bunyan's axe to Minnesota, back in 2003.

"You watch [Minnesota] rush across the field and come take it," said Jim Leonhard.  "That's a feeling you don't want to have. [This year's Gophers] would love to ruin our season - run across and take that axe and get into a bowl game.  So I don't think it should be hard for our guys to have that mentality."
 

  • SPORTSSPORTSMore>>

  • Danica Patrick finds love away from track with Aaron Rodgers

    Danica Patrick finds love away from track with Aaron Rodgers

    Danica Patrick's heart is racing for Aaron Rodgers.

    More >>

    Danica Patrick's heart is racing for Aaron Rodgers.

    More >>
  • Olympian Beisel visits McFarland pool

    Olympian Beisel visits McFarland pool

    Three time Olympian Elizabeth Beisel stopped by the swimming pool at McFarland High School on Monday to pass long tips to young swimmers of the McFarland Spartan Sharks program.

    More >>

    Three time Olympian Elizabeth Beisel stopped by the swimming pool at McFarland High School on Monday to pass long tips to young swimmers of the McFarland Spartan Sharks program.

    More >>
  • Antetokounmpo takes over again as Bucks beat Wizards 104-95

    Antetokounmpo takes over again as Bucks beat Wizards 104-95

    Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 27 points and grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Washington Wizards for the second time in 10 days with a 104-95 victory Monday.    Like it was on Jan. 6, it was tight late before Antetokounmpo took over. He led Milwaukee on an 11-0 run in the final minutes and finished 9 of 23 from the field, dribbling out the clock to "M-V-P!" chants from Bucks fans in attendance for the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day...More >>
    Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 27 points and grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Washington Wizards for the second time in 10 days with a 104-95 victory Monday.    Like it was on Jan. 6, it was tight late before Antetokounmpo took over. He led Milwaukee on an 11-0 run in the final minutes and finished 9 of 23 from the field, dribbling out the clock to "M-V-P!" chants from Bucks fans in attendance for the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day...More >>
  • BadgersBadgersMore>>

  • No. 1 Badgers sweep Minnesota State

    No. 1 Badgers sweep Minnesota State

    Senior Claudia Kepler tallied two goals to power the No. 1 Wisconsin women’s hockey team to a 4-0 victory over Minnesota State Sunday at LaBahn Arena.

    More >>

    Senior Claudia Kepler tallied two goals to power the No. 1 Wisconsin women’s hockey team to a 4-0 victory over Minnesota State Sunday at LaBahn Arena.

    More >>
  • Wisconsin women's hoops falls to Penn State, 69-62

    Wisconsin women's hoops falls to Penn State, 69-62

    The Wisconsin women's basketball team dropped a home battle to Penn State, 69-62, Sunday afternoon in the Kohl Center.

    More >>

    The Wisconsin women's basketball team dropped a home battle to Penn State, 69-62, Sunday afternoon in the Kohl Center.

    More >>
  • No. 18 Men's Hockey gets off losing skid

    No. 18 Men's Hockey gets off losing skid

    No. 18 Wisconsin men's hockey earned a 5-2 victory over Michigan State on Saturday night - the team's first win since December 2nd.   In the second period, with the tie scored 1-1, Trent Frederic delivered a short-handed goal to take the lead for the Badgers.  Early in the third period, they scored two goals within a minute of each other to increase their lead to 4-1. Ryan Wagner, JD Greenway, Seamus Malone and Sean Dhooghe contributed the other goals.  With the ...More >>
    No. 18 Wisconsin men's hockey earned a 5-2 victory over Michigan State on Saturday night - the team's first win since December 2nd.   In the second period, with the tie scored 1-1, Trent Frederic delivered a short-handed goal to take the lead for the Badgers.  Early in the third period, they scored two goals within a minute of each other to increase their lead to 4-1. Ryan Wagner, JD Greenway, Seamus Malone and Sean Dhooghe contributed the other goals.  With the ...More >>
Powered by Frankly